What to do on Canada Day

Central Albertans have a number of ways to show their pride for the red and white this July 1.

Central Albertans have a number of ways to show their pride for the red and white this July 1.

About 10,000 people are expected to show up for Red Deer’s 45th Canada Day celebration at Bower Ponds on Tuesday to feast upon the giant red and white cakes as well as take in a variety of entertainment.

Festivities run from 11:30 a.m. to midnight and while admission for the day is free, a food bank donation is encouraged.

Ethnic food vendors, Bull Skit comedy, various cultural dancers and evening shows from Jake Peters, HOJA, Kita No Taiko and Randi Boulton will all be a part of the event — but the biggest surprise is saved for last.

At least $20,000 more has gone into the 2014 fireworks display set for 11 p.m., said Delores Coghill, manager at the Red Deer Cultural Heritage Society, the body that organizes the celebration every year.

“The fireworks will be a little bit longer this year but more intense,” she said. They usually spend about $10,000 on the colourful explosions but spent closer to $30,000 thanks to 18 new corporate sponsors. Coghill said it costs about $1,000 for a minute of fireworks.

Access to Bower Ponds is limited to trail or transit only on Canada Day due to major construction this year. No pets are allowed. For more information visit www.reddeer.ca/transit or www.rdchs.com.

Other Canada Day events throughout the region include:

l Fireworks will cover the skies in Sylvan Lake at dusk at Sylvan Lake Provincial Park. The local Rotary Club will also host a party at the pier from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. featuring children’s activities and entertainment and the Hockeyville Cup. At 2 p.m., there will be a pipe band and veterans marching from the Royal Canadian Legion to the pier, where cake will be served.

l A number of events are going on in Lacombe, starting with a Colour Guard March, led by the Red Deer Pipe Band, at 11:30 a.m., a flag-raising ceremony and fundraising barbecue for the Lacombe Legion. Free children’s activities will also underway at the English Estates Centre off of Hwy 2A from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Lacombe museums are featuring various free demonstrations throughout the day as well. Fireworks are at dusk over Cranna Lake. Parking will be available at the Lacombe Sports and Leisure Complex (5429 53rd Ave.), City Hall (5432 56th Ave.) and École Lacombe Junior High School (5830 50th St.). Woodland Drive will be closed during the fireworks display.

l Canada Day takes on a little Danish influence in Dickson with celebrations happening at the Danish Canadian National Museum and Gardens, where free cake and coffee will be served all day.

l At the Innisfail and District Historical Village, free activities kick off at noon with food, cake and various vendors from local businesses set up onsite. A bagpipe band will be performing, as well as other local musicians including Denver Daines until 5:30. Fireworks are the day before on June 30 at dusk at the Innisfail Arena.

l Sundre’s Canada Day gets underway at the museum on Main Avenue at 11:30 a.m., with a pet parade at 1 p.m., followed by various children’s activities, a magic performance and live music. A free barbecue takes place at 4:30 p.m. and fireworks at dusk.

l Olds Centennial Park will be decked out in the national colours from 3 to 7:15 p.m. There will be an obstacle course, free cupcakes, carnival games and entertainment on stage. Fireworks will be shot off around 11 p.m., with the best viewing from the parking lots of Canadian Tire and No Frills.

l Those in Rocky Mountain House wanting to wish Canada a happy 147th birthday can head out to the Rocky Mountain Historic Site starting at 8 a.m. with a pancake breakfast. From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., there will be a celebration honouring Charlotte Small, the Scot-Cree wife of explorer David Thompson. Food and drink vendors are open at 2 p.m. with bouncy castles, face painting, a Lego contest, toonie carnival and games for children. There will also be a vehicle and bike show, helicopter and tractor rides, birthday cake and an outdoor concert. Fireworks will start at dusk.

l Stettler is hosting a Canada Day Family Fun Run from 9 a.m. to noon with one-km (eight and under), 2.5-km (12 and under), five-km or 10-km runs. There will be a kids’ activity tent and free pancake breakfast following the run. Celebrations continue at the village of Donalda with a rail spike pounding at 1 p.m. at the Railway Station, a 4 p.m. parade, 6 p.m. steak supper followed by a live auction, entertainment and fireworks at 11:30 p.m.

l In Ponoka, Canada Day is making waves at the IGA with a free barbecue, cake and activities from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Tim Hortons Family Festival is also happening downtown from 1 to 5:30 p.m. with cake, carnival games, bouncy castles and more. Fireworks explode on the evening of June 30 as part of the Ponoka Stampede.

l There will be free cupcakes at the Tayles Water Park in Blackfalds at 1 p.m. and fireworks at dusk.

rfrancoeur@bprda.wpengine.com

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